Survey reveals that 66% of micro and small businesses are at initial stages of digital maturity

They account for more than 90% of companies, 30% of GDP and more than 50% of jobs in the country.
Administration
04 March 2022
Survey reveals that 66% of micro and small businesses are at initial stages of digital maturity

Micro and small businesses play a fundamental role in Brazil’s economic and social development. They account for more than 90% of companies, 30% of GDP and more than 50% of jobs in the country. Faced with the challenge of supporting the digital transformation of these companies and ensuring their participation in this new economic reality, Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) and the Brazilian Industrial Development Agency (ABDI) have developed a model for diagnosing the digital maturity or readiness of micro and small businesses. Using this model, they carried out a survey, called the “Brazilian Micro and Small Business Digitization Map,” which shows the current circumstances of companies that are on the path of comprehensive digital transformation.

Technological and digital development is transforming and affecting all sectors of the Brazilian economy. It is essential for our micro and small companies to adapt and make the most of these technologies, to improve their operations, create new business models and generate more revenue.

In general terms, the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Digitization Map reveals that digital transformation practices and strategies are still immature among micro and small businesses. This report’s findings show not just challenges, but also opportunities. There is great scope for these companies to adopt digital technologies and develop their full potential. However, it is crucial for them to speed up this process. Digital transformation is an essential way to increase our country’s productivity and competitiveness, as well as being an irreversible requirement for the survival of companies.

Results of survey

66% of micro and small businesses are at levels 1 and 2 of digital maturity (18% are at “analog” level and 48% are at “emerging” level);

• The average digital maturity score of Brazilian micro and small businesses is 40.77 points, on a scale from 0 to 100;

• The services sector presented the best results, with an average score of 43.73, while the commerce sector had the lowest average score, 36.75 points. The industrial sector had an average score of 40.49 points;

• In terms of “innovating more quickly and collaboratively,” companies scored 47.72 points on average, demonstrating greater digital maturity in this area and showing that they are seizing new opportunities and adopting more agile and collaborative innovation practices;

• On the other hand, companies had the lowest score, 35.01, for “establishing new foundations for competition,” reflecting difficulties in adapting to the online world and offering more innovative and digital business models;

• It was found that companies are using broadband in their operations and moving forward with their data storage policies, but they still make little use of cloud computing and e-learning services as tools to boost their productivity. Cybersecurity is another subject downplayed by micro and small businesses.

Prospects

Most business people believe that digital transformation is a complex and expensive process, but that is no longer true. Existing technologies are affordable to all entrepreneurs who want to transform their business. However, they need to be shown the way and assisted in their journey.

According to nearly 40% of interviewees, the main difficulty in digital transformation is a lack of resources to invest and lack of strategy. Another 25% said that a lack of knowledge on how to build an appropriate way forward for their digital transformation is their main obstacle to be overcome.

Marcel Levi, FGV’s project coordinator and one of the people responsible for the survey, says that many Brazilian micro and small businesses are at the initial stage of digital maturity. Nevertheless, there are encouraging signs, as “the survey’s main conclusion is that 68% of business people are open and available to participate in a digital maturity acceleration program to help them on their digital transformation journey.”

“We will now carry out a second edition of the survey and we will soon select up to 150 micro and small businesses to take in a pilot project, in which we will study the application of the 25 digital best practices that made up the survey’s metrics,” Levi adds.

To see the complete survey, click here.

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